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Columbus Crew 2-3 Atlanta United: Community player ratings

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MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Atlanta United at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United is officially as far into the U.S. Open Cup as its ever been in its history after a Round of 16 3-2 win over the Columbus Crew in godforsaken MAPFRE Stadium.

Some might say Frank de Boer showed some ambition in wanting to win the tournament by fielding mostly his best possible XI for the match. Other, more cynical folks, might say that this was merely a tuneup game for MLS play, which starts again next Wednesday, and, like the Five Stripes, won’t stop (for a while anyway). The match produced sloppy play in sloppy conditions, but the Five Stripes did just enough to see them through to the quarterfinal, where they will play USL’s St. Louis FC at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw.

Man of the Match: Brandon Vazquez

Good for Brandon. After what has been a frustrating season for the former U.S. youth international, Atlanta United’s reserve striker has seen the ball hit the back of the net recently in USL play and carried that form into the U.S. Open Cup with a pair of goals in extra time. Frank de Boer and the staff at Atlanta United has moved Vazquez back up top as a central No. 9 and it appears to be paying dividends. Honestly, I don’t know what Tata Martino ever saw in Vazquez as a winger. Let’s forget that happened.

This, from last week, again. Vazquez repeated his brace and was unlucky not to complete a hat trick in the match. He had a shot hit the post from a very tight angle. It would’ve been a great goal, but to be honest, I expected it to go in considering how often I’ve seen Atlanta United teammates successfully score trick shots in training while shooting from behind the goal line. Overall, it was an excellent display from Vazquez, and you’d have to think he’s earned the job as the backup striker on this team.

Full Player Ratings

GK: Brad Guzan - 5.81

RB: Franco Escobar - 6.46

CB: Miles Robinson - 8.16

CB: Leandro Gonzalez Pirez - 7.27

LB: Michael Parkhurst - 6.85

CM: Eric Remedi - 6.81

CM: Darlington Nagbe - 7.00

LW: Justin Meram - 7.11

CAM: Ezequiel Barco - 7.80

RW: Pity Martinez - 6.52

ST: Brandon Vazquez - 9.09

SUB: Brek Shea - 6.11

SUB: Andrew Carleton - 5.75

SUB: Florentin Pogba - 6.50

MANAGER: Frank de Boer - 7.71